About DWK

In 1995, several women friends fell into deep conversation about what was happening, and not happening, in politics…
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and it was their perception that they did not see an effective presence of the Democratic Party in Kern County. They decided that this was a situation that needed changing and they would work to change it!  This was the beginning of the organization originally named the Democratic Women of South San Joaquin Valley, now officially called the Democratic Women of Kern.

Since that time, this organization has developed a core group of committed women, (and men) who participate in activities that support the local Democratic Party and its principles.  DWK works in cooperation with the Kern County Democratic Central Committee, sponsors events to highlight local Democratic candidates and assists wherever they can by working to register voters, provide phone banking, walking and working for positive change in our community. We continue to provide a platform where guest speakers address relevant issues of the current political climate and where we can come together as Democrats and as women to educate and support each other.  We celebrate over 20 years of political activism and we are still fighting the good fight.

We invite you to join us.


The founders of Democratic Women of Kern

Katy Lingo, Marie Vasili & Renee Westa-Lusk


Meet Our Board

Updates in progress, check back soon for the full 2020 roster!
Robin Walters

Robin Walters


Robin is a Bakersfield native. She has passionately defended constitutional rights in criminal cases, including death penalty. She now represents parents or children in abuse/neglect cases, and minors charged with crimes. She is also a Mental Health Hearing Officer and Judge Pro Tem. As one of the organizers of Indivisible – Citizens of CA’s 23rd, she wants to turn Kern County blue. She has the time and passion required for this position. She brings strong leadership and organizational skills. She seeks to build on DWK’s strong foundation, solidifying diverse membership, creating participatory opportunities, nurturing strong leaders, and promoting engaging, informational meetings where people learn and network.

Robin Fernandez

Robin Fernandez


Robin Fernandez, is an easy going 61 year old female. She has worked in a variety of fields and levels of Accounting for about 40 years. She started working with the Salvation Army moved onto a couple of supermarkets and ended up with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Due to the results of the November 2016 Elections, she was moved to take action. The search for ways to make a difference took her to the Woman’s March in LA, Indivisible meetings, Democratic Office of Kern and the Democratic Woman of Kern. The DWK has proven to provide information for many of those venues and feed her soul.

Karin Maki

Karin Maki


Karin Maki – originally from Chicago, Karin moved to Bakersfield a year and a half ago. She teaches French in the Kern County High School District and would like to connect with more likeminded people. Karin’s goals include increasing the membership of DWK, as well as becoming more active in the community to make a bigger impact.  When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking with her partner and three dogs, and listening to live music. 

Elise Modrovich

Elise Modrovich

Corresponding Secretary

Elise spent the majority of her life in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. She moved to Kernville late in 2014 to open the Starlite Lounge Wine Bar and Restaurant with her sister. A writer at heart, Elise freelances for the Kern Valley Sun newspaper in addition to doing advertising, marketing and social media for the Starlite and dabbling in creative writing projects on the side. A lifelong Democrat, fueled by her Hungarian immigrant father’s first exposure to American Democracy and JFK, she had always believed that voting in every single election was the best and most she could do as a U.S. Citizen.
She discovered and joined DWK in January 2017 because she wanted to be a part of a group of strong, independent, smart, positive, Democratic people who were working for change.